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Days gone by #5382653 03/22/20 08:00 AM
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CourierDriver Offline OP
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https://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z5227/volkswagen-transporter.aspx

lots of info on other stuff, you might have been around for all of this...it was fun


I'd still like to have my 67 Beetle back....life was easy then..imho 2 quarts of oil roughly ,lol
Re: Days gone by [Re: CourierDriver] #5382883 03/22/20 11:28 AM
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Number_35 Offline
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I've always liked the old air-cooled VW buses. The Achilles's Heel in these parts was the gas heater, which didn't get it done in our harsh winters. The buses, particularly the Westphalias, are commanding good prices in Canada.

Saw (and coveted) this "crewcab" pickup version in Germany in 2018:

IMG_6690 - Copy.JPG
Re: Days gone by [Re: CourierDriver] #5382925 03/22/20 12:14 PM
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First and only ride in a VW bus was in early fall of 1964 up the west side of Sacramento Mountains from Alamogordo,NM to Cloudcroft, a climb of about twenty two miles. Painful listening to awful racket of an engine about to disintegrate. If I remember correctly, each rear wheel had a gear reducer.

Re: Days gone by [Re: CourierDriver] #5382951 03/22/20 01:02 PM
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tcp71 Offline
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Coyote Shuttles in Moab will take you, seven buddies and your bikes from 5000ft to 10300ft to ride the 26 mile full enchilada over burro pass. Great, tiring, full day ride. You can see they weld in an extension on their vans to fit everyone. Those busses work hard up the side of those mountains.

[Linked Image]


2016 F150 Eco: Edge 0w40
2005 Sienna 3.3: PP 5w30 syn. (varies)
Re: Days gone by [Re: CourierDriver] #5382959 03/22/20 01:11 PM
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I had a 68 and my brother had a 71 and a 72 camper. I can't say they were good vehicles, maybe for narrow roads and low speeds but not for North America. The wind would blow them all around on the highway. Very frustrating to drive. I don't miss it.

Re: Days gone by [Re: CourierDriver] #5382960 03/22/20 01:12 PM
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atikovi Online Content
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My only air cooled bus back when they occasionally popped up at the auction and before there were million dollar houses to take pictures in front of.

[Linked Image from fototime.com]

Re: Days gone by [Re: tcp71] #5383259 03/22/20 08:23 PM
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Number_35 Offline
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Originally Posted by tcp71
Coyote Shuttles in Moab will take you, seven buddies and your bikes from 5000ft to 10300ft to ride the 26 mile full enchilada over burro pass. Great, tiring, full day ride. You can see they weld in an extension on their vans to fit everyone. Those busses work hard up the side of those mountains.

[Linked Image]
I am in awe ... as I recall, this was the 1st gen of water-cooled engines. And even at that, it was quite a workaround. I believe VW took the old air-cooled flat-4 and put a water jacket around it. The engine was still in the rear, with a rad up front, and long supply and return lines between the rad and the engine.

So you see where this is going ... how long are the extension lines between the originals?

Other thoughts ...

- The normally-aspirated flat-4 (1.9 litre?) in the heavy van was never a drag-race contender; at 10,000', it must be a bit of a slug.

- Turning radius must be interesting.

- One would not take that too far off road. Even speed bumps would be challenging.

Awesome endeavor in any case.

Re: Days gone by [Re: CourierDriver] #5383387 03/23/20 02:40 AM
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Silk Offline
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I used to have a '58 Kombi, and a '59 Beetle....and one 1300 engine. I'd swap the engine over on a saturday morning on the road outside my mother's house. after I destroyed the engine, I think I gave both away. The position you had when driving the Kombi we used to call The Kombi Crouch.

A friend of mine found a pick up at the dump, dragged it home and got it going. On the side he wrote - Puff The Tragic Wagon.


1987 BMW R65 - Penrite VTwin 20-50
2005 Nissan Expert - 5W-30 Castrol Edge
1996 Volvo T5 - Penrite HPR15 - 15W-60. Ryco syntec filter.
Re: Days gone by [Re: WobblyElvis] #5383487 03/23/20 08:25 AM
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wag123 Online Content
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Originally Posted by WobblyElvis
I had a 68 and my brother had a 71 and a 72 camper. I can't say they were good vehicles, maybe for narrow roads and low speeds but not for North America. The wind would blow them all around on the highway. Very frustrating to drive. I don't miss it.
Back in the day I owned a 66 Microbus for about a year, I bought it one summer and sold it the next summer. I had it for one Wisconsin winter, and THAT was enough. The heater was non-existent, I had to scrape the ice off of the inside of the windshield as I drove it and I had to wear snowmobile boots to keep my feet from freezing.
Having only 52hp to work with, the aerodynamics of a brick, and being fairly heavy, it was excruciatingly and dangerously slow. VW claimed that it had a top speed of 65 mph, but I can tell you for a fact that it wouldn't go that fast unless I was closely following a semi, downhill. At the time, car magazine test reports did not list a 0-60 mph time for the VW because it would go no faster than 59 mph for them.
The blowing around in the wind was absolutely frightening, but it didn't even have to be windy. When a truck passed you on the highway, the van would blow over by a half a lane as the truck approached, and sucked you in when it got along side you.
On top of everything else, it's reliability was awful. I had to buy a set of metric tools after I got it and I had to work on it continuously, mostly on my back in the cold.
Owning it was memorable, but not a fun experience.

Re: Days gone by [Re: wag123] #5383965 03/23/20 06:05 PM
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Number_35 Offline
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Originally Posted by Silk
I used to have a '58 Kombi, and a '59 Beetle....and one 1300 engine. I'd swap the engine over on a saturday morning on the road outside my mother's house. after I destroyed the engine, I think I gave both away. The position you had when driving the Kombi we used to call The Kombi Crouch.

A friend of mine found a pick up at the dump, dragged it home and got it going. On the side he wrote - Puff The Tragic Wagon.
Both tales are quintessentially Kiwi, showing resourcefulness and humour. My Kiwi bride and I laughed out loud at "Puff the Tragic Wagon".

Originally Posted by wag123
Originally Posted by WobblyElvis
I had a 68 and my brother had a 71 and a 72 camper. I can't say they were good vehicles, maybe for narrow roads and low speeds but not for North America. The wind would blow them all around on the highway. Very frustrating to drive. I don't miss it.
Back in the day I owned a 66 Microbus for about a year, I bought it one summer and sold it the next summer. I had it for one Wisconsin winter, and THAT was enough. The heater was non-existent, I had to scrape the ice off of the inside of the windshield as I drove it and I had to wear snowmobile boots to keep my feet from freezing.
Having only 52hp to work with, the aerodynamics of a brick, and being fairly heavy, it was excruciatingly and dangerously slow. VW claimed that it had a top speed of 65 mph, but I can tell you for a fact that it wouldn't go that fast unless I was closely following a semi, downhill. At the time, car magazine test reports did not list a 0-60 mph time for the VW because it would go no faster than 59 mph for them.
The blowing around in the wind was absolutely frightening, but it didn't even have to be windy. When a truck passed you on the highway, the van would blow over by a half a lane as the truck approached, and sucked you in when it got along side you.
On top of everything else, it's reliability was awful. I had to buy a set of metric tools after I got it and I had to work on it continuously, mostly on my back in the cold.
Owning it was memorable, but not a fun experience.
My kind parents-in-law bought a used Beetle from a needy soul back in the day, and also experienced the tragedy of an air-cooled VW gasoline heater in a norther winter. When the New Beetle was introduced in the late '90s, one billboard here spoofed the old Beetle - "Introducing exciting new features - like heat!".

As far as the aerodynamics, we experienced similar during our year in New Zealand. We drove a '95 Mazda Bongo van (1998 cc SOHC, 5-speed manual, mid-engined, 9-passenger), a slab-sided beast with a high centre of gravity. Acceleration was leisurely, and highway driving in gusty conditions was an adventure. I'm sure it was a rocket ship compared to a VW bus though.

Re: Days gone by [Re: CourierDriver] #5384045 03/23/20 08:15 PM
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Cdn17Sport6MT Online Content
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I have a 79 aircooled bay-window/bread loaf... last of that body shape. 2000cc 67 sae net hp and 101 ft lbs torque at 3000. Mine has fixed windows + bare interior. Gearing is taller than they were originally. Governed at 5400rpm / 84 mph. I don't find it so much underpowered as air-cooling limited. It is suggested to not exceed 60 mph / 3600 rpm on flat ground, no head wind. Aircooled engine head temps vary as per how deep your throttle foot is. This engine will readily drop its valve seats if overtheated. You will kill it up a sustained hill in too high a gear, buried accelerator foot. Incidentally it has a forged crank and sodium filled exh valves. I think the rods are forged too. Be nice to it and it WILL last. Durable bottom end. So, it's not ultimately able to be beat on like a domestic.

Oh, a couple/three other things:
i) very nice shifting 4 speed transaxle... the 091 transaxle is very durable.
ii) mine has 2200 lb payload... though has to be loaded with of course the engine location in mind... side access is easiest.
iii) nicely operating sliding door
iv) I personally find it to drive well... 4 wheel independent susp, a euro-type ride.

I call it a bit of a perverse love affair.

Last edited by Cdn17Sport6MT; 03/23/20 08:19 PM.

Mazda6 GX (Sport in the 'States), 6MT, 2017
Moto Guzzi 850 T5 (Euro version), 1985
Honda Civic Si (EX 2 dr. in the 'States), A/T, 1997
Toyota Camry CE, 5MT, 1999
VW (Type2) Kombi, 4MT, 1979
Re: Days gone by [Re: Cdn17Sport6MT] #5384224 03/24/20 12:54 AM
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Silk Offline
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Originally Posted by Cdn17Sport6MT
This engine will readily drop its valve seats if overtheated. You will kill it up a sustained hill in too high a gear, buried accelerator foot.


I used to build 36hp engines out of bits and pieces - the best of the worst. Xmas Eve, going up a slight incline, my mate driving (I'd lost my license), and he has it nailed in 3rd, on the redline at 3,600rpm. ''Put it in top gear !!!'' I yell at him (it's pretty noisy inside) ''It won't pull top gear !'' ''Yes it will ! Put it in top !!!'' So he finally changes into 4th gear....and then it drops a valve. We had to hitch hike the rest of our 300 mile trip. Ever seen the Auckland Harbour Bridge ? 2nd gear up there in a 36hp.

Heater ? Never seen them work. On my old '54, on hard cornering at max speed, oil would leak out of the outboard axle boot, onto the exhaust, travel up the ducts and fill the interior with stinky smoke.


1987 BMW R65 - Penrite VTwin 20-50
2005 Nissan Expert - 5W-30 Castrol Edge
1996 Volvo T5 - Penrite HPR15 - 15W-60. Ryco syntec filter.
Re: Days gone by [Re: Number_35] #5384429 03/24/20 09:56 AM
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SeaJay Offline
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Originally Posted by Number_35
I've always liked the old air-cooled VW buses. The Achilles's Heel in these parts was the gas heater, which didn't get it done in our harsh winters. The buses, particularly the Westphalias, are commanding good prices in Canada.

Saw (and coveted) this "crewcab" pickup version in Germany in 2018:





I was only 4 years old, but have a vague recollection that it was one of those VW pickup contraptions that moved my family to our new home in the late 1950's. It was a delivery vehicle at my uncle's lumberyard.

Re: Days gone by [Re: Cdn17Sport6MT] #5385147 03/25/20 07:36 AM
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Number_35 Offline
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Originally Posted by SeaJay
I was only 4 years old, but have a vague recollection that it was one of those VW pickup contraptions that moved my family to our new home in the late 1950's. It was a delivery vehicle at my uncle's lumberyard.
Great memory! "Contraption" indeed, and yet GM pretty much followed VW's lead in basing both a pickup and a van on their (GM's) air-cooled rear-engined Corvair.

Originally Posted by Cdn17Sport6MT
I have a 79 aircooled bay-window/bread loaf... last of that body shape. 2000cc 67 sae net hp and 101 ft lbs torque at 3000. Mine has fixed windows + bare interior. Gearing is taller than they were originally. Governed at 5400rpm / 84 mph. I don't find it so much underpowered as air-cooling limited. It is suggested to not exceed 60 mph / 3600 rpm on flat ground, no head wind. Aircooled engine head temps vary as per how deep your throttle foot is. This engine will readily drop its valve seats if overtheated. You will kill it up a sustained hill in too high a gear, buried accelerator foot. Incidentally it has a forged crank and sodium filled exh valves. I think the rods are forged too. Be nice to it and it WILL last. Durable bottom end. So, it's not ultimately able to be beat on like a domestic.

Oh, a couple/three other things:
i) very nice shifting 4 speed transaxle... the 091 transaxle is very durable.
ii) mine has 2200 lb payload... though has to be loaded with of course the engine location in mind... side access is easiest.
iii) nicely operating sliding door
iv) I personally find it to drive well... 4 wheel independent susp, a euro-type ride.

I call it a bit of a perverse love affair.
The book on these back in the mid-'70s was that they were good for 200K miles, but would need three engines to get there. However, my friend got over 100K miles out of a late-'70s Westy, and sold it with the original engine still running well. He ran a good 20W-50 oil. When they drove to California in the winter, they would head straight south as fast as possible so that they would not be as dependent on the gas heater.

The other thing was that we used to see Beetles come into our tune-up shop with the #3 plug seized in. That was the cylinder on the driver's side closed to the firewall. It tended to overheat.

Re: Days gone by [Re: CourierDriver] #5385209 03/25/20 08:44 AM
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kschachn Online Content
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My favorite is still the Corvair Rampside, I saw one in LA many years ago:

[Linked Image from oldcarsweekly.com]


1994 BMW 530i, 252K
1996 Honda Accord, 288K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 434K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 284K
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